THE MAHA Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, which transferred 65 officers of SP rank and above across Maharashtra this month, has not appointed an officer to the sensitive post of state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) chief, a fortnight after it transferred Deven Bharti, who held the post.
A 1994-batch officer, Bharti has not been given a new posting but is continuing in the post of Additional Director General (ATS) as Maharashtra Police has not relieved him, in spite of him having been transferred, citing that it is a sensitive post that cannot be kept vacant.
Further, apart from Bharti, for the first time in Maharashtra Police as many as 18 officers, including 15 SP-rank officers, have not been given postings as the Uddhav Thackeray-led government undertook its first large-scale reshuffle of IPS officers in the state after taking over power last year. These transfers were conducted in two tranches, one on September 2 of 40 officers including Bharti, the other on September 17 in which 25 officers were transferred.
A senior IPS officer said as against other postings, officers posted to ATS — a specialised unit — are given training as the challenges are different from other postings. “In such a situation, it is not advisable to get another ADG-rank officer to hold additional charge,” an officer told The Indian Express.
The officer added that while in another situation, a junior rank officer from the same unit would have been given charge, in this case the IG-rank post in ATS is also vacant and it was not advisable to give a DIG-rank officer additional charge. “The government was asked to suggest a replacement for Bharti. In the absence of any reply from the government, he has been asked to continue. That the government has not objected to this means they don’t see anything wrong. The moment they post someone as ATS ADG, that officer will take charge,” an officer said.
Apart from this, there are rumblings in the force as a total of 19 officers of SP rank and above have been kept in wait for postings — 15 SP rank, two IG rank and two ADG rank officers. “While some officers kept waiting after the first transfers on September 2 were accommodated in the second list, now there are 19 officers waiting for postings,” an officer said.
Another officer added, “In the past during IPS transfers, the ‘chain was completed’ wherein every officer would have a posting. For the first time, so many of them have not been posted.”
Repeated calls and messages to Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh went unanswered.
This is the second time in three months that police transfers have created disquiet in the force. On July 2, the Mumbai Police commissioner had reshuffled 10 DCP-rank officers within its jurisdiction in consultation with the government. Later, the transfers were put on hold by CM Uddhav Thackeray.
It is believed Thackeray was unhappy at not being consulted over the transfers by Deshmukh. The Shiv Sena is known to gets its way in postings of officers in Mumbai and Thane.
On July 11, another reshuffle took place where some of the changes made were in line with the order revoked by the CM earlier
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